Ikirun crisis: Prince shot dead as hoodlums invade palace

Prince Lukman Olatunji was shot dead on Wednesday during a scuffle between the police and hoodlums at the palace of Akinrun of Ikirun in the Ikirun area of Osun State.

The palace had been locked since the new Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Olalekan Akadiri, became the monarch of the town.

Policemen reportedly stormed the area to force the palace gates open.

The situation created unrest as the policemen, while opening fire to scare hoodlums protesting against their action in the community, allegedly shot Olatunji dead.

No fewer than four other persons reportedly sustained bullet wounds in the process.

Youths in the area, displeased with the development, set a building in the palace ablaze.

Narrating how the incident happened, a resident in the community, Gboyega Adebayo, said he was on his way to purchase something in the area when he saw policemen storming the palace, adding that a stray bullet from one of the policemen claimed the life of the prince.

He said, “I was on my way to the Oja-Oba area to buy an herbal product. I saw four policemen walking towards the palace. Few minutes later, two vehicles carrying more policemen arrived at the scene.

“They started firing teargas and gunshots into the air around the palace gate. Everyone near the premises ran in different directions to avoid being shot. It was a bullet from their gun that hit a man’s (Olatunji) head. He died on the spot.

“The policemen then brought a welder to help them open the locked gate of the palace. They (police) were shooting to scare people away. Bullets also hit about four other people. Those ones are not dead yet.”

Olatunji’s elder brother Tajudeen Gboleru told PUNCH that the policemen were attempting to enter the palace when they shot his brother dead, adding that someone led the policemen to the palace.

He said, “A person trying to enter the palace came to the area with a lot of policemen and soldiers. One of the security men must have fired the shot that hit him.”

But the Osun police spokesperson Yemisi Opalola denied the police killed the prince, adding that the policemen visited the palace to protect those renovating the building.

Opalola said, “The Commissioner of Police wishes to debunk the news making the rounds that policemen shot at people in Ikirun.

“The true picture of the event is that, while some policemen were at Akinrun palace to protect those renovating it, some armed hoodlums shot at the policemen mobilised to the palace, injuring one Inspector, Obajobi Adedokun and Inspector Raji Abiodun.

“They were rushed to hospital for treatment. They (hoodlums) set the palace ablaze and also attacked the fire brigade personnel and injured one Orunwumi Roseline and Abel Olayinka and attacked their truck while on their way to the palace to put out the fire.”